We are happy to share this gallery of some of the highlights of beautiful Kadavu.
Articles| Escape to Kadavu - A Fiji Secret
It was during this period that we learnt the correct speeches from Nadi and Kadavu, as they had been told by the orators. We kept asking ourselves why they had omitted the'n' on the itineraries. The Kadavu is only one hours away from the major Viti Levu by air and has a small Vinesea International Airfield.
Most of the transportation from there is by ship, as there are not many highways. There were only four other people on the small airplane that took us over, among them Mike, who is in charge of the Viti Watersports diving operations at Waisalima Beach Reserve. But before we knew it, we got on the ship that was supposed to take us to the village.
After 3 hrs we reached the Waisalima Beach Resort and were really damp, but the rains stopped. Whilst the employees were busy picking up crates of groceries from the ship, we went into ankle-deep waters and began to take our own baggage and diving equipment ashore.
I had dropped into the sea with our diving equipment! In spite of some drizzle and heavy wind the views from the central area were breathtaking; the sea was right in front of us and we could see a part of the opposite isle, known as Ono. Meals provided the great occasion to try some of the indigenous fruits like bread fruit, a spinaceous herb like ro-ro boiled in cottage cheese powder, ferns of the woods, veil, which is a kind of plantain and one that I did not like too much: Dolo (aptly described as "a dried, vigorous plant").
Beside the veggies there was chickens, veal, pork meat or seafood for supper. All food is produced in the reserve or by our own farms. One of the non-diving day we went to the small town of Sogasa Vou. It is possible to make an overnight tour with Maureen, which must be astonishing, as most of the part of the isle is very untouched.
Scuba work at the resorts is operated by Viti Watersports. Our head offices and our scuba center are in Nadi. Sharon and Maika were our scuba divers while we were there and they took great care of us. The first two of our open water sessions took place on a more protected part of the astrolabe reef between Ono Island and Kadavu.
There were small hard corals and some types of catfish we hadn't seen before, among them red-eyed gobies (Bryaninops natans), which were just floating a small platypyel. But not many different kinds of them. In the following few day the diving situation has changed and other parts of the Astrolab Reef have been made.
It is a sloping coral capped cliff with a great deal of marine activity, especially in the deep. There was a small grey shark and at the end we also saw a whitetip shark with different types of trigger fish, small school fish, an eagleray and all types of haddocks.
This site gives its name to a big swimming through. Turtle Lair' was another great site. Directly below, where we got into the sea, was a wonderful algae park that stretched down to the sloping face where we swam along. We hadn' t seen before. Soon five large Eagleray's drove over our head and over the plains of the canal.
One of the other freshwater birds I had not seen before had an emerging leaf colored corpus l'emerald and a transparent tail fluke. We were also dealt with different kinds of surgeon and butterflyfishes, which I only knew from Items. Both of us realized that there weren't many kinds of nudibranches, but that was perhaps just the time of year.
This is a great dives! There are several diving spots directly inside, just outside and in the centre of the area. Later we found out that the locals had tried to blow up the wall just there to make a way through for the boat, but right in the centre was a solid cliff that was not blowed away by the blow.
Now Eagle Rock and it's a great place to meet many grey reef sharks who like to be in the currents. On the shallower cliffs I saw many different parrotfishes, among them an almost dark parrot fish and a contrast light blue spot on the side.
On another morning we returned and went to the local "fish market", and as the name implies, there were many of them. There were other grey reef sharks, a whitetip reef shark, a green and a loggerhead turtle and a large stingray with a stumped prick. It really looks like a landscape park with gorgeous reef tops spread all over the place.
The number of clownfish was more than we had seen on any of the other locations, and one had two different types of clownfishes. Grey shark zooming in. An Eagleray came over the plains and swam into the sea. Would have been good to have some fishway identification there to find out the name of the fishs we saw.
Resort may make some folks think otherwise, but if you want a secluded, relaxed place to escape from everyday routine and look for a sense of insular living, this is the place where you can enjoy a little while. Packing our baggage on the ship that would take us to our next target on Kadavu: Matava!
Every heathland we walked past and every turn we turned at showed us more of the unexplored Kadavu Mill. The town of Matava itself is situated in a small bay and at first glance you don't see much of the area. We saw the astrolobe reef break in the faraway.
Smokes were drifting through the resorts as personnel prepared the "lovo", a typical subterranean stove where meats, seafood and veggies were cooked that even. We started our way to the Diveshop at the pier after our breakfasts and put together our equipment. Part of Matava scuba is also in the Naigoro Passage, so we had another opportunity to go swimming with the Grey Reef Sharks, which is always a good one.
It was a bit rougher this year, so it was agreed to make a more relaxing second dives inside the riff at the'Cabbage Patch'. It was a rather flat and lively dives. Larger boommies were spread all over the area, some of them coated with coral.
Due to the way it is growing, this reef always has many places to hide for all sorts of creatures, so we have been spending a lot of our times looking between the strata. This is the smallest scorpionfish in the world. The Manta Reef would have been one of the most thrilling diving spots for us.
In about 40 min. we arrived at Manta Riff. This dive site is located on a wall that parallels the central wall of the dive site and is surrounded by all types of reefs, sea anemone, and deer. In general, it is advisable for the manta rays to go up and down the dive site and the diver to the side or hiding in coves in the dive site to maintain the dive to the full.
While we were there the range of vision was maybe 10 - 15 metres, but we saw the manta rays quite early in our dives. Since this site is relatively far away, we have also made our second dives with the manta rays. It was a pity that we did not go directly below us to see the real one, but we had the feeling that we would not soon have such an occasion again.
One of my favorite places to go diving in Fiji was in the form of Wonderland. They had gorgonians in different colors and dimensions, long lashcoral, good looking sea trout and nice colored hardweeds. There was an astonishing diversity of habitats and so many different types of seafood.
The very last time we dived in Matava was just around the edge from Eagle Rock on Naigoro Passage. Then we swam on and landed in another beautiful sea-world. We were attracted by a slight flow and since we were not so far down, it was a bit surgical, but we could still observe the different kinds of corals and the vivid "crowd" of sharks.
We spend most of our afternoon studying, diving, looking up some of the fishing we have seen during the days, or looking in the Matava Libraries book in the head offices. If you want something more energetic or if you want to go swimming to the small islet opposite the residence, you can always take one of the free canoes.
When you go swimming, make sure you have your own snorkelling gear, as there is plenty to see on the dive site right in front of the resortl. You will find Christmas treeworms in different colours, sergeant majors, triggerfishes, butterflyfishes and some youngsters. When we were up in the sky, we pushed our noses against the window to see the last glimpses of Kadavu and the Astrolab Reds.